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Gardaí target child porn suspects

Gardaí target child porn suspects

GARDAÍ have carried out a major swoop on people suspected of being involved in many aspects of child pornography.

Operation Ketch is an operation targeting those in possession and involved in the distribution of child pornography either through social network sites or via file sharing networks.

The operation took place from February 2 to 52018 and was led by the Online Child Exploitation Unit (ONCE) at the Garda National Protection Services Bureau.

During this phase of the investigation, searches were carried out under warrant pursuant to the Child Trafficking and Pornography Act, 1998 across a number of Garda divisions. The searches were carried out by newly established Divisional Protection Service Units and local detective Units.

A total of 31 locations were searched and digital material which included thousands of images were seized for forensic examination. Child protection concerns at all the locations searched have been addressed.

Assistance was received by the Online Child Exploitation Unit from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and National Centre for Missing and Exploitated Children (NCMEC) in the USA, and the National Child Exploitation Coordination Centre (NCECC) in Canada in the targeting of these suspects.

The objective of this operation is to –

To identify child protection concerns at each address and engage with Tusla.

To identify, target and search persons suspected of distributing online child exploitation material

To send out a message to other persons who are distributing this material that An Garda Síochána will actively identify and pursue them.

The timing of the operation coincides with Safer Internet Day, today (Tuesday).

Operation Ketch is an operation targeting those in possession and involved in the distribution of child pornography

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